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PolitiFact Wisconsin: Are Wisconsin's voter rolls padded with century old dates?

Posted at 6:52 PM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 19:52:34-05

One hundred years is a long time. But is that how long names of some Wisconsin residents have been on the state's voter rolls? PolitiFact Wisconsin puts that claim to the truth o meter.

It's been a year since Joe Biden was sworn in as president after Wisconsin voters help put him in the White House.

Now, a widely circulated Facebook meme suggests Wisconsin's voters rolls were padded with tens of thousands of voters who registered to vote a century ago.

"The claim, the Wisconsin Voter roll has over 120,000 active voters who have been registered to vote for over 100 years, said Greg Borowski with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "Now that would make them, well really, really, really old."

So, what happened?

In 2002, the Help America Vote Act required the state to maintain a database of all voters.

But at that time, not all communities were computerized. Some small town lists didn't even include birth dates.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says a default date was given when Wisconsin merged its statewide database with municipalities.

"So when the statewide list was built, if a birth date of a voter wasn't known, they entered a default information January 1, 1900. For date of birth, and January 1 1918, for days of voter registration," said Borowski.

PolitiFact Wisconsin says some default dates have gone away as voters move or update their names. But what about all the other 100 year default dates?

"That doesn't mean that these voters are all active," said Borowski. "Nor does that mean that all of these 'people' voted, certainly not that they haven't actually registered for more than 100 years as the meme claims."

PolitiFact Wisconsin rated this claim False.

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